Spotify is upping the ante as its arch rival, Apple prepares to enter the music streaming business with its Beats platform. Announcing that it has secured a whopping further $526 million in funding (making its current worth an astounding $8.5 billion), Spotify also said in a statement that it has a 20 million user head start over Apple.

One of the current leaders in the business, Spotify has over 75 million active users, which is a 87% increase on 2014's figures and means it is securing a new active user ever 3 seconds – pretty impressive stuff.

The statement concluded with the addressing of recent criticism surrounding low royalty repayments. Spotify silenced critics by revealing it has paid a total of $3 billion to artists and record labels to date – $300 million of which came from the first quarter of 2015.

So, should Apple be quaking in the boots? Can Tidal get up to speed? Stay tuned for all of the latest music news on Buro 24/7 Middle East...